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Fluoroscopic screening unit, England, 1950-1960

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A fluoroscope is a form of X-ray apparatus. It created images of the inside of the body that were viewed in real time and without taking and developing X-ray photographs. Chest-screening frames like this one diagnosed diseases such as pulmonary tuberculosis. Doctors using radiography and X-rays found some ‘healthy’ patients still showed signs of the disease, such as lesions in the lungs. An X-ray machine like this was the only way to view inside the body without surgery. This machine belonged to a doctor in Harley Street, London, who donated it to the Science Museum's collections on his retirement in 1984.

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    Glossary: x-rays

    A wave of electromagnetic radiation that has high energy and short wavelength. It is able to pass through many materials, except those of high density such as metals or bones. Discovered in 1895 by William Roentgen.

    Glossary: x-ray screening unit

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